Now the whole case will need to be re-examined as the European Court of Justice (ECJ) referred the case back to a lower court. The ECJ instructed the General Court to focus on Intel's arguments that these rebates were not anti-competitive. In particular, the ECJ concludes the General Court failed to fully examine whether Intel's rebates had an adverse impact on competition.
“The Court of Justice sets aside the judgment of the General Court, which had upheld the fine of 1.06 billion euros imposed on Intel by the Commission for abuse of a dominant position,” the Luxembourg-based Court of Justice (ECJ) said.The landmark decision could have implications for other antitrust cases, including the EU's fight against Google and Alphabet. Reuters suggests the European Commission may be forced to re-examine its tough line in these cases.
“The case is referred back to the General Court in order for it to examine the arguments put forward by Intel concerning the capacity of the rebates at issue to restrict competition,” the ECJ said.